Cincinnati, Ohio – Cincinnati made 12 three-point baskets en route to a 76-50 victory over Valpo (2-2). Three Bearcats scored in double-figures, led by Field Williams with 17 points. Williams sank five of 12 shots from behind the arc, including three in the first half, as Cincinnati (3-1) held a 35-21 halftime lead. Raitis Grafs was the Crusaders lone player in double-digits with 11 points.
Leonard Stokes scored 15 points and Jason Maxiell added 14 for the Bearcats. Taron Barker dished out 11 assists for UC. Turnovers hurt the Crusaders, who committed 20.
Cincinnati, which extended its homecourt win streak to 20, never surrendered the lead after breaking a 5-5 tie with 15:08 left on a Williams three-pointer. Stokes followed with a three-pointer and then added a jumper to increase the UC lead to 13-5 with 14:12 remaining in the half.
After the Bearcats built as much as a 14-point advantage with 7:14 left, Valpo cut its deficit to eight points (27-19) with 3:23 remaining. However, an 8-2 Bearcat run gave UC the 14-point halftime lead.
Cincinnati began the second half with a 7-0 run to take a 21-point lead (42-21) with 18:18 left. Grafs, who had nine points and no fouls in the first half, drew his fourth foul and went to the bench with 14:49 left in the game. Valpo sliced the UC lead to 54-39 on a Roberto Nieves three-pointer with 8:24 left, but the Bearcats answered with a 8-0 run to extend their lead to 62-39 at the 6:37 mark as Stokes hit a trey and Williams added a three-pointer and two free throws. Cincinnati’s biggest lead was 69-42 with 3:25 remaining.
Valpo outrebounded UC 34-31 as Stalin Ortiz grabbed eight boards and Grafs snagged seven. The Bearcats shot 44 percent (26-59) overall, while the Crusaders finished shooting 38 percent (17-45). Cincinnati drained 12 of 27 shots from three-point range, while Valpo made five of 13.
The Crusaders continue a three-game road stretch on Saturday at Loyola in Chicago beginning at 1 p.m.